Capetonians are beaming with pride after it was announced this week that two teen boys from Lavender Hill Football Club will be representing South Africa in Spain to play soccer.
Young goalkeeper, Tristan Hollander (17) and his friend, Imtiyaaz Ruiters (16) have been chosen to represent the country at the auspicious Alicante Cup in Santa Pola, Alicante.
Chief executive at Guardians of the National Treasure organisation Ralph Bouwers says the boys were selected because of their talent on the field.
“Why were they selected? Pure skill, they are two of the most promising in the greater Lavender Hill area. Talented, respectful and determined to not conform to what deems to be acceptable in these struggling communities,” says Bouwers.
The boys have dedicated their daily lives to soccer and pushed through the challenges to prove they can do anything, inspiring their community along the way.
“We are proud and will support our young to ensure there is proper role modeling in place. In a community with very little in place with regards to Sport and Recreation we hope to support and encourage them to send the correct message through to those younger in a community where our role models are mostly in pain,” adds Bouwers.
At a young age, Hollander lost his mother and is currently in the care of his aunt but he has always had a passion for soccer, spending most of his time practicing outside.
Imtiyaaz’s mother says she is filled with pride that the boys have been selected to play in Spain, but they still need funds to make sure the boys can reach their dreams.
“The boys live for soccer and play it daily on the street corner, in the courts where we live in Lavender Hill, on the field and at school. Being given this opportunity has made us proud as parents as we encourage our kids not to get involved with the wrong crowd or gangsters or drugs. We are trying our best to secure funds to make this dream a reality,” says Toegiedah Ruiters.
Those looking to support these local heroes on their journey can donate using the information below.
“Their dedication, love and pure passion for soccer have truly shown them that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. They feel really proud of this accomplishment and we have no doubt that they will shine in Spain,” adds Toegiedah.
To donate : REF: Soccer Tristan and Imtiyaaz
Standard Bank : Account Lavender Hill Sport and Recreation Project
Branch : Blue Route
Account : 370896432
BCode electronic: 051001
Swift : SBZA ZA JJ
WhatsApp proof of payment: 078 629 3258